Lancashire commits to new care worker standards under Unison contract
Lancashire County Council has signed up to Unison’s Ethical Care Charter, in moves that will push providers to pay a living wage.
The local authority has become the latest town hall to commit itself to the trade union’s guidelines on staff support and care standards.
Unison said it was ‘delighted’ at Lancashire’s decision and anticipated improvements to the quality of care across the county.
Homecare providers will need to adapt their procedures to meet the charter’s requirements, minimising zero-hours contracts, paying at least the minimum wage and moving towards a living wage of £7.65 per hour.
Council leader, Jennifer Mein said: ‘We are committed to making sure that people across the county receive the high-quality homecare that we would all want for our loved ones - and for ourselves.
‘This means recognising everyone who receives homecare as an individual person, with his or her own particular needs, together with rewarding homecare workers properly for the vital services they provide every day to thousands of Lancashire people.
‘The Ethical Care Charter sets the benchmark for the future of homecare in Lancashire, and we are very proud to have signed up to it,’ Mein said.
Included in the charter is a commitment that staff ‘should not have to rush from client to client’. Further pledges include that people should wherever possible retain the same carer.
Lancashire UNISON branch secretary Elaine Cotterell said the move ‘demonstrates a clear commitment to ensure that staff are properly rewarded and respected for the work they do with vulnerable people in our communities’.
‘Home care workers are dedicated to providing the best care that they can. The council's adoption of the charter enables good employment conditions and quality training, which helps to reduce staff turnover and improve the quality of care for service users,’ she added.